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So 900 miles from home my two day old new ridgelines GPS routed me down a gravel gravel road tHinking it would connect to pavement instead, it took me deep into muddy trail, as the ruts sucked my tires into the deep grooves cut into the trail, I bottomed out. For fear i was going to get stuck in the mud with no body around I put the selector switch into mud n sand I drove out of the mud. With my black edition know covered in mud I feared the aliment would have been knocked out. but the truck smoothly ran down the road with no problems and no damages.
 

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I did something like this a couple of times. Once was back when GPS first came out and I had a new Garmin XL. It was the one with a lcd screen and it would connect via NMEA to my laptop and Street Atlas V5. That was back in the early days of GPS without maps on the displays. And mostly they were used for hiking and things like that. It was a single channel scanning receiver and took about 5 minutes to synchronize and acquire the satellites and hold the lock.

So, back around 1998 or so I was using it to take a "shortcut" that was on the mapping software. It took me via a plowed snowy road up over a mountain. As I was looking a different direction for a couple of seconds I suddenly realized the road had "ended" and in reality they had "no winter maintenance" on this section of the back country road. It was a harrowing experience and my first GPS encounter with bad directions lol. I ended up driving that road (it was a switchback and forth type of thing) that went across and over the side of a mountain (no guardrails btw) and I had to keep the power up on the 88 4wd Jeep Cherokee I had at the time. And the funny part of this was that the snow was a foot deep and I was towing a SNOWMOBILE ! lol Yep, driving to a meet up with a group of others at a show and event in the country. It was the most harrowing experience I ever had in a 10minute stretch. Yep it was a shortcut to the other side (saved about 1/2 hour of driving around the mountain). I got there safely and promptly swore off the GPS shortcuts after that. Until....


The second time it happened I was in Colorado with a buddy and we were going to use my new mapping GPS the Magellan SporTrak Topo. This one had built in Topographic maps that you could use in different areas of the country by uploading the sections you needed at the time. The whole country had a base map but if you wanted detail maps of the area you had to load them in. This was back when memory was expensive and in short supply. At the time we were using it I mentioned to my buddy how one time I had used this GPS and it declared "you are here!" one time out in the country and it lied completely! This time we were going to Cripple creek via it's "shortcut" and it was a beautiful full moon night out. We were driving up this dirt road (and not more than a couple miles (via air) to our destination) when suddenly it did it! "You are here" was declared ! And we both got out of the car and just looked up into the sky with the beautiful full moon and laughed. Yep we were here. Out in the middle of nowhere on a dirt road at 8,000ft. But the sky was beautiful and all the stars were great to see. We had a nice laugh about it and found our way back to the hard top road and took the long way that we knew and turned off the GPS. And that was that story till ......

Yep, I did it again. I said ok.. I'm going to try this shortcut from one side of the valley to the other. It's only about 3 - 5 mi it looked. Knowing full well my other adventures with GPS. But this time I had the brand new from Garmin Montana 650 ! It was higher powered, had maps galore and I had the full North American Street Data Base on a SD card. So what could go wrong ??!! Yep, here it is....
So, I was in the Laurel Highlands of PA and was trying to get from the 7Springs area to over by Ohiopyle. Well, the road to normally get there is of course around the mountain. But, I noticed a line that went through the middle. It looked to be a unimproved road that existed and would save me that 1/2 hr around again. So, I started down this road in my AWD Ford Escape. This one is really good in the snow so I figured it'd be no problem as how bad could it get ??!! hahaha I should have known. So, I'm taking this "road" when it suddenly ends the pavement and turns into gravel.. ok no problem, I can handle this and kept going. Now, it turns into a dirt road another mile ahead! No problem I got AWD... So I keep going. Another mi or so it turns into a rutted mess of a road. So I stop for a minute to view the GPS and see how much further I think it might be and suddenly a 4wd Jeep Wrangler with big mud tires passes me lol... I figure hey if he can do it so can I ! so I follow him down the road. Now this wrangler has 4 people in it with a soft top off and two chicks hanging off the back drinking a couple of cold ones. lol And I'm following them in my Ford Escape... I'm sure they think I'm nuts. We get to a turn off on the road and they stop and I see why. There is about a two to three foot rut with mud ahead. They gun it and make it through.... I hold off for a couple minutes because it appears to me that this "road" is getting worse.. About 3 or 4 minutes pass and here they come back... The "road" ahead had become unpassable and they had turned around ! Good thing for me. Saved my bacon.... lol So I too turn around we all head back out to "the long way around" and another 1/2 hr of my life spent having another GPS off road adventure.

Can't wait to see where the RL goes ! Maybe I'll spring for better tires first lol

Steve M
 

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I recently took mine through a muddy cornfield on a goose hunt. The mud was the kind when you walk in it you get an inch or more caked to your boots. Ruined by clean interior (huskyliners not in yet). I decided to try drive in D - but 10 feet in everything lit up: traction control, vsa, basically the truck panicked and froze. I was expecting this given the recent "innovation" of stability assist (that in my GLI cannot be turned off), so I stopped dead in the muck, put it in mud, and just cruised around. No effort, no drama, I could even do deplorable things like stop, reverse, turn and it didn't care. It will remind you of a rwd bias by slightly moving the rear, but you cannot swing out to slide. I tried this in a recent snowfall in all settings and got the same results.

It appears to be a point and shoot vehicle, a one finger winter vehicle. No white knuckles, but no fun either! Totally capable in the mud. I did have to pull some corn stalks out from a few nooks and crannies.

As an aside, I have found a use for the "eco" button. It greatly smooths out cruise control downshifting on hilly roads, more like a human would by seeing ahead and driving smoothly. It actually makes it quite nice. Otherwise the truck tries so hard to maintain a certain speed it gets a little adrupt. So for me, on hilly roads, cruise is a 2 button affair. Otherwise I have no use for eco. After driving the GLI for 7 years I am used to a responsive throttle to modulate, and prefer it.

N8
 

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I recently took mine through a muddy cornfield on a goose hunt. The mud was the kind when you walk in it you get an inch or more caked to your boots. Ruined by clean interior (huskyliners not in yet). I decided to try drive in D - but 10 feet in everything lit up: traction control, vsa, basically the truck panicked and froze. I was expecting this given the recent "innovation" of stability assist (that in my GLI cannot be turned off), so I stopped dead in the muck, put it in mud, and just cruised around. No effort, no drama, I could even do deplorable things like stop, reverse, turn and it didn't care. It will remind you of a rwd bias by slightly moving the rear, but you cannot swing out to slide. I tried this in a recent snowfall in all settings and got the same results.

It appears to be a point and shoot vehicle, a one finger winter vehicle. No white knuckles, but no fun either! Totally capable in the mud. I did have to pull some corn stalks out from a few nooks and crannies.

As an aside, I have found a use for the "eco" button. It greatly smooths out cruise control downshifting on hilly roads, more like a human would by seeing ahead and driving smoothly. It actually makes it quite nice. Otherwise the truck tries so hard to maintain a certain speed it gets a little adrupt. So for me, on hilly roads, cruise is a 2 button affair. Otherwise I have no use for eco. After driving the GLI for 7 years I am used to a responsive throttle to modulate, and prefer it.

N8
I wonder if the abruptness has something to do with VCM kicking on and off? I just installed the VCMuzzler II and went on a 120 mile round trip - highway - watching the OBDII reported temp hover right at or just under 167 (the VCM threshold to kick on is 167) - the RL did feel smoother, stayed at speed on cruise control better and returned about 1.3 mpg less than before. Now, this is one trip but I'll keep an eye on things. Just wondering if 6 to 3 cylinders and back up to 6 may play a part in shifting feel and ability to hold a set cruise speed in hilly terrain??
 

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I can hear the vcm going from 3 cylinder slight load to 6 cylinder. There is a low frequency sound, almost vibration, then ambient meter goes white then green when the 6 cylinder mode kicks in. I can't tell when it goes from 6 to 3 cylinder, and I can't tell when I punch it from 3 to 6. Only with slow smooth driving - like it tries to comply with a lowly 3 cylinder engines, it starts to work, then gives up and goes to smooth power 6 cylinder.

The D setting just doesn't like sliding, slipping or yaw. I was expecting that, and it's as it should be.
 
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